Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Various animals entwined

You can entwine a snake with a lizard, each one biting the other, or a snake eating a frog, or a wall lizard or something similar. But since these interlacings cannot be stripped, cut what’s possible, and allow the rest to burn. To make the mouth of the snake, which must stand high, hold a wall lizard, which is small and would need to be held in the air, because the snake’s head is higher, put under the wall lizard a mound of earth suitable to support it. And if you place the mold in a furnace, the animal drying quickly, it will quickly shrink, then it will burn more easily. These interlacings are also made to mask wounds or defects on the animal which happen when we catch them. Do not forget to join with wax, applied carefully with a hot iron wire, all the parts of the animal which are one on top of the other, or those which are not well pressed on the slab of clay, so that the soaked sand does not remove them. Do that in order to

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avoid putting pins that should not be put, only on the top of the head, the thickest parts of the body, and on the delicate parts like the middle of the lizard’s feet, the nails of which you will drive into the clay, thus they won’t move. Once your first mold is casted, peel away the belly of the animal, but do not forget to put some tenuous little pieces of wax at the tip of the lizard’s feet. But if it is from a wall lizard, lightly cover all the sole of its feet with wax, which will be removed with the second cast. A cavity is left which will be fill these little fingers with metal. then rework it. Make sure that wax is fixed well on the parts of the animal which are one on top of the other, so that the soaked sand which comes in does not make them move. If that happened your jacket of clay would be spoiled and your mold wouldn’t get the right thickness, would have holes, and would be spoiled. To obviate that you can make a thicker mold. If this occurs you could rework it in this fashion.